Common Council discusses insurance overruns

By Ashley M. Casey

The Common Council’s budget workshop, scheduled for today, Feb. 8, has been canceled.

Mayor Ronald L. Woodward discussed the workshop’s only agenda item — the 2013 health insurance overrun — at the Feb. 4 Common Council meeting.

Woodward told The Valley News the city’s spending on health insurance ran over by $512,000 last year.

“It put us into deficit spending,” he said. “We’ve got to go through the accounts and cover that spending.”

The mayor said the city’s financial consultants predicted a surplus of $500,000 in October 2013.

“Two months later, we ended up with a deficit,” Woodward said. “You can’t predict who’s going to get sick.”

Bodley students inducted into National Honor Society

Submitted by Oswego County BOCES

G. Ray Bodley High School in the Fulton City School District recently inducted 40 new members in the Joseph Campolieta Chapter of the National Honor Society in a ceremony held at the High School.

National Honor Society promotes the recognition of students, juniors and/or seniors, based on four criteria: scholarship, leadership, character, and service.

Scholarship is based on academic achievement and students must have an average of at least 89.5 percent to be considered for membership.

In addition to academic eligibility, potential candidates should also be involved in school and/or community related activities, be responsible, dependable, resourceful, and uphold principals of morality and ethics.

Students from the Women’s Choir sang the National Anthem and Alma Mater. Betsy Conners, director of instruction and assessment, congratulated the inductees and wished them well on the path to their future careers.

Chapter officers conducted the ceremony, inducting the new members with readings on the four precepts of National Honor Society and listed the new members’ accomplishments and achievements, including their record of community service.

The inductees are community minded students, having volunteered for organizations such as the Salvation Army, the Oswego County SPCA, Fulton Figure Skating Club, Locks of Love and their local churches.

The 2013/2014 inductees included: Alexia Abelgore, Jacob Belcher, Robert Borrow III, Kara Bricker, Karli Bricker, Brett Campolieta, MaKenna Cealie, Kennedie Coyne, Jacob Cuyler, Amanda Deavers, Thomas Distin, Kimberly Edwards, Katelyn Ely, Abigail Field, Emma Harvey, Brian Hudson, Kylie Jacklett, Thomas Kerfien III, Angeline Kimbrell, Kaitlyn Kinney, Jennah Lamb and Alexandra LaRock.

Also: Dominique Lockwood, Makenzie Loomis, Bailey Lutz, Geoffry Michaels, Erica Pawlewicz, Jessica Race, Justina Race, Nicholas Reitz, Amanda Rice, Madden Rowlee, Jacob Seymour, Courtney Smith, Taylor Smithers, Grace Trepasso, Kendra Tryniski, Julia Velasquez, Erika Wallace and Michaela Whiteman.

The new inductees joined senior members: James Bailey, Alexandra Boyce, Savannah Bray, Seth Britton, Nattalie Castellano, Amelia Coakley, Seth DeLisle, Courtney DeLong, Meriah Dishaw, MacKenzie Fanciulli, Kristyn Garrison, Sophia Giovannetti, MacKenzie Grow, Anna Guernsey, Sarah Halstead, Austin Haskins, Paige Havener, Erin Hayden, Kari Holbrook, Michael Holcomb and Jenna Hudson.

Also: Emily Hyde, Samantha Ingersoll, Jeremy Langdon, Tessa LiVoti, Julia Ludington, James Martin, Ashley McCann, Maureen McCann, Konner Myers, Matthew Nelson, Angela Paul, Keisha Pierce, Derek Prosser, Paul Reynoso, Alissa Robinson, Taylor Rose, Danielle Rupert, Anthony Semeraro, Casey Shannon, Abigail Shatrau, Tevin Simard, Noah Sorbello, Jordyn Stone, Nicholas Summerville and Mariah Whipple.

Bodley Bulletins, by Julia Ludington

The second half of the year has officially begun.

Students who have had 95 percent attendance, 95 percent on time to school, no major referrals, and no grades below a 70 percent will receive VIP status.

The official VIP celebration will take place this Friday. It is a great way to recognize those who have put their best foot forward this past quarter.

Honor Roll assemblies will take place next week for students who have earned either honor roll or high honor roll status. The assemblies will take place during Guided Study Hall, and students will receive a certificate and will have their picture taken.

The freshman class assembly will be next Monday, sophomores will be next Tuesday, juniors will be on Wednesday, and finally seniors will be on Thursday.

Students who will be playing a spring sport who have not yet received a physical can schedule one in the nurse’s office. Make sure to schedule one soon, spots fill up quickly.

Terracycling is still going on for the GRB Environmental Club, so if you have any empty shampoo or conditioner bottles, cream cheese tubs, applesauce containers, or yogurt containers, please bring them in!

 

Porky — what’s up with catnip?

Dear Porky & Buddy,

Well actually this is really directed toward Porky, as I have a question about catnip.

I was talking to a friend about my plans for a new garden this spring, which I want to make safe and enjoyable by my cats, Tom, Dick, and Harry. (It is how I get through January and February without going nuts.)

Anyway, I mentioned that I planned to include a big patch of catnip and she launched into a long and angry lecture about how I should not do that because ti is a “drug” that makes cats “high” and is not good for them.

Is she right or is she just an anti-drug zealot taking out her frustration on my boys?

Karen

 

Dear Karen,

Wait a minute until we exhale.  No, seriously we’re just kidding. You don’t smoke catnip, you roll in it.

We have no opinion about whether your friend is an anti-drug zealot, but she is wrong about this.

Catnip is the common name for Nepeta Cataria, a member of the mint family. It is native to Europe but  is now a widespread weed in North America.

It is, however, pretty in gardens and, speaking on behalf of about 50 to 60 percent of all cats, it should be in every garden.

No one is exactly certain how the plant works in its effects on cats. The chemical in the plant that is so intoxicating to cats has been identified as nepetalactone.

It somehow causes remarkable behaviors in the 50 to 60 percent of all cats that are sensitive to the chemical. The cat will rub it, roll over it, kick at it, and seem to be deliriously happy for several minutes.

Then he will lose interest and walk away. Two hours later, he may come back and have exactly the same response.

The catnip reaction is inherited, and some cats are totally unaffected by it. Large cats like tigers and leopards sometimes react to it in exactly the same way as Tom, Dick & Harry. Picture that in your mind.

Although scientists have not determined how or why the chemical substance in catnip affects cats, they do know that it does no damage and that after the catnip “trip” the cat is back to normal with no ill effects.

Basically, if Tom, Dick or Harry enjoy it then it is a really good way to get them to play with toys more often and with more enthusiasm. And when you are strolling through the garden with them, crush a few leaves to release the scent and watch their reaction.

If they crush your patch of catnip, know that it really is basically a weed and will grow back. So have fun this summer.

But speaking of getting through the winter, you can get your own personal warming device for only $20.14 at the Warm Up Oswego Adoption Day from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8 at the Oswego Armory, 265 W. First St., Oswego. Adoption fees for cats older than six months are only $20.14 that day.

The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter services and assistance, fostering and adoption of animals in urgent need, humane education programs, and information and referrals to animal lovers throughout Oswego County.

Our office is located at 265 W. First St., Oswego. Phone 207-1070. Email: ochscontact@hotmail.com  Website: www.oswegohumane.org

Osteo Bone Builders program volunteers receive training

The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, a division of SUNY Oswego’s Office of Business and Community Relations, has announced the addition of 10 master trainers to the Osteo Bone Builders Program.

Six of the newly trained master trainers are osteoporosis (osteo) instructors at Oswego County sites: Rachel Brooks, Ann Hardy, Carol Miller, Carol Simpson, Joan Southwell and Marjorie Flood.

Also trained were Sharon Connor (Onondaga County), Sharon Faudree (Red Creek) and RSVP directors Ellen Wahl (Oswego County) and Nadia Emerson (Brevard County, Florida).

The Osteo Bone Builders Program has been in existence 15 years. As with most RSVP programs, it is designed to help people help themselves.

In this case, RSVP volunteers are trained to help their peers overcome and control the debilitating effects of osteoporosis and, at the same time, have fun doing it.

“Our volunteer instructors don’t necessarily have a background in physical education, but they do have a passion for helping others seek relief — hurting less and enjoying life more,” said Wahl, RSVP’s director.

The Bone Builders exercise regimen is designed to rebuild bone density and improve balance.  Classes are self-paced and can help those just diagnosed and those with advanced osteoporosis.

The Osteo Bone Builders Program was introduced in Oswego County by Virginia “Ginny” Gilbert, then RSVP director of the New York Capital Region. She conducted the first training of RSVP instructors in May 1999.

Gilbert first learned of the Bone Builders Program when she attended an alumni reunion at Syracuse University and reunited with a roommate who told her about the program, which was developed by research scientists at Tufts University.  Gilbert wondered whether lay people could be taught to lead the classes.

Upon Gilbert’s retirement from RSVP, she began her second career as a Bone Builders trainer, traveling the country and teaching the program with great success.

Each year she would return to Oswego County and train another class of 12 or more instructors. Bone Builders is now RSVP’s largest volunteer opportunity, having grown to more than 20 sites and 70 instructors just in Oswego County.

When Gilbert decided to retire a second time, she scheduled her last training session this past fall here in Oswego County, and added a “master trainer” class to assure the program is sustainable.

The class resulted in 10 certified master trainers to continue the tradition, one of whom is Nadia Emerson, RSVP dir.

Certification of Oswego County’s own master trainers means that RSVP will not have to wait until an annual training to install new instructors; it will be an ongoing process.

For more information on teaching the exercise regimen or becoming a participant, contact RSVP at 312-2317 or rsvp@oswego.edu.

RSVP’s new osteo master trainers in Oswego County are:

Rachel Brooks – Palermo site

Ann Hardy – Oswego YMCA

Carol Miller – West Amboy site

Carol Simpson – Scriba site

Joan Southwell – Mexico site

Marjorie Flood – Mexico site

Ellen Wahl, RSVP director

 

 

County health clinic schedule for week of Feb. 10

Submitted by Oswego County

The Oswego County Health Department offers a variety of services to all residents of Oswego County, including preventive health services, certified home health care, long-term home health care, certified hospice, and a maternal and child health program.

Walk-in influenza clinics are held weekdays from 9 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. at the Nick Sterio Public Health Clinic, 70 Bunner St., Oswego for people age 19 and older. No appointment is needed; walk-ins are welcome.

Children’s flu vaccine is now available every Tuesday from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. in Oswego, and the third Tuesday of every month from 9 to 11 a.m. at the H. Douglas Barclay Courthouse, Pulaski.

The children’s flu vaccine is available at no cost to all children who qualify for the Vaccines for Children Program provided by the state Department of Health.

For those who do not qualify, the cost is $37 for the inactivated vaccine (the shot) and $43 for the flu-mist (nasal vaccine).

Patients with private insurance, Managed Medicaid, Managed Medicare, Medicaid, Medicare, and Medicare Part B should bring their benefit cards with them to the immunization clinic.

No one will be turned away due to inability to pay.

The following services will be offered during the week of Feb. 10 at the Nick Sterio Public Health Clinic, 70 Bunner St., Oswego.

OSWEGO:

** Adult Influenza Clinic: Monday through Friday, 9 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m., walk-in clinic.

** Immunization Clinic: Tuesday, Feb. 11, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., walk-in clinic.

** Pregnancy Testing: Free pregnancy testing is available. Call 349-3391 to schedule an appointment.

** Sexually Transmitted Disease Testing and Treatment Services: Call 349-3547 to schedule an appointment.

** HIV Counseling and Testing Service:  Call 349-3547 to schedule an appointment

Immunization clinics are held every Tuesday from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. at 70 Bunner St, Oswego, and the third Tuesday of every month from 9 to 11 a.m. at the H. Douglas Barclay Courthouse, Pulaski.

For more information about public health services, contact the Oswego County Health Department, weekdays at 349-3547 or (800) 596-3200, ext. 3547.

Adult ed course catalog available now

A course catalog of the 2014 spring adult educational opportunities at Oswego County BOCES is now available.

The catalog has been mailed to residents in Oswego County and contains information about the literacy and training opportunities catered to adult learners who have been displaced, are considering a career change, are interested in re-entering the workforce and/or who are looking to refine current skills, advance in their field, or increase their employability.

For more information or if you did not receive a copy of the course catalog, visit www.OswegoBOCES.org/AdultEd or contact the Adult Education Office at 963-4256. 

Do something nice the week of Feb. 10

SUNY Oswego is bringing a warm front to the February cold spell and invites the community to celebrate National Random Acts of Kindness Week.

From Feb. 10 – Feb. 14, those on SUNY Oswego campus and middle school students in Altmar-Parish-Williamstown, Fulton, Mexico, Oswego, Phoenix and Sandy Creek school districts will be receiving Random Acts of Kindness cards to Go.Do.Good. around the community.

Businesses will receive a page of cards to print for their employees to join in the fun through an Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce email.

A Facebook page, “Oswego Random Acts of Kindness” was created for all Oswego County community members to record the acts of kindness and pay tribute to the Go.Do.Good.-ers.

SUNY Oswego campus good-doers will perform a Random Act of Kindness, fill in their name on the card and leave it at the scene of the good deed with the receiver.

The receiver will fill in their name and a description of the good deed and return the card to one of the designated drop boxes on campus.

Both the giver and receiver will be entered in drawings for to win a prize.

“And the fun doesn’t stop there;” says organizer Tammy Elowsky. “At the drop box, the receiver can pick up a new Random Acts of Kindness card to Go.Do.Good. for someone else.  It’s all about paying it forward and building community.”

Each participating middle school will have its own way of recognizing these good-doing bandits at its school.

The community at large is invited to join in the fun, spread the kindness, and celebrate our community by using the card printed here and just Go.Do.Good.

Then, post the stories in Facebook on “Oswego Random Acts of Kindness” and tell the community where it happened and tag who was responsible.

Spread the kindness fever!

This is an effort by the Office of Business and Community Relations in collaboration with the Counseling Services Center at SUNY Oswego, several Oswego County school districts and the Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce to promote collaboration, trust and the sharing of ideas to spark innovation as a part of the Thrive Community Incubator Initiative.

For more information on Thrive, go to: www.oswego.edu/thrive.

To print your own Go.Do.Good. card to leave at the scene of a random act of kindness, join the Facebook page:  Oswego Random Acts of Kindness and print the image there.

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